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Ben Stanger, MD, PhD

Ben Stanger, MD, PhD Physician

Associate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Stanger is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

Clinical Specialties


  • Medicine
    • Gastroenterology

Programs & Services:

  • Cancer
    • Anal Cancer
    • Colon Cancer
    • Esophageal Cancer
    • Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Risk Evaluation Program
    • Gastrointestinal Cancer Evaluation Center (GICEC)
    • Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumor
    • Liver Cancer
    • Pancreatic Cancer
    • Rectal Cancer
    • Small Intestine Cancer
    • Stomach (Gastric) Cancer
  • Gastroenterology
    • General Gastroenterology Consultation

Conditions & Treatments:

  • Anal Cancer
  • Bile Duct Cancer
  • Colon Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Gallbladder Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumor
  • Liver Cancer
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Small Intestine Cancer
  • Stomach (Gastric) Cancer

Practice Locations and Appointments

  • Gastroenterology

    Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine South Pavilion, 4th Floor 3400 Civic Center Boulevard Philadelphia, PA 19104 800-789-PENN (7366)

    A facility of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Insurance Accepted

  • Aetna US Healthcare
  • Cigna
  • Cigna HealthSpring
  • Devon Health Services (Americare)
  • Gateway Health Plan
  • Geisinger Health Plan
  • HealthAmerica / HealthAssurance, a Coventry Plan
  • HealthPartners
  • HealthSmart
  • Highmark Blue Shield
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Humana / Choicecare
  • Independence Blue Cross (Keystone East)
  • Intergroup
  • Keystone First
  • Multiplan
  • NJ Medicaid
  • NJ Qualcare
  • Oxford Health Plan
  • PA Medicaid
  • PA Medicare
  • Preferred Care
  • Rail Road Medicare / Palmetto GBA
  • Tricare
  • United Healthcare
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Plan
  • US Family Health Plan

Education and Training

Medical School: Harvard Medical School
Residency: UCSF Medical Center and Hospital
Fellowship: Massachusetts General Hospital


AGA Institute Research Awards Panel, National American Association for Cancer Research, National American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, National American Gastroenterological Association, National Society for Developmental Biology, National The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation, National


Dr. Stanger is a Penn Medicine employed physician.

Hospital Privileges:

  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.
  • Penn Medicine Radnor: Has privileges to perform procedures.
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center: Has privileges to treat patients in the hospital.


Research Interests:

Research Interests

Cell Plasticity
Pancreatic Cancer
Liver Regeneration

Key words: Metastasis, Stem Cells, Development, Regeneration, Pancreatic Cancer, Organogenesis

Description of Research
Cell Plasticity in Regeneration and Cancer
During development, cells acquire specialized features through a series of differentiation events. Under normal circumstances, adult cells retain their differentiated identities. However, under a variety of experimental and physiological situations, cell identity can shift. This adult cell plasticity can involve an interchange between adult cellular identities (termed "trans-differentiation") or a reversion from a specialized state to a progenitor stated (termed "de-differentiation"). Our laboratory uses genetically engineered mice to understand how cell identity is maintained in vivo. We study cellular plasticity in the context of liver regeneration, diabetes, and cancer - where epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition promotes cell invasion and metastasis. We believe that the ability to manipulate cellular identity in these settings will facilitate the development of novel therapies for cancer and degenerative disease.

Rotation Projects
Rotation projects may be available based upon applicant interest. Please contact Dr. Stanger directly to discuss potential projects.

Lab personnel:
Ben Stanger, MD, PhD – Principal Instigator
Chenghua Yang - Research Specialist, Lab Manager
Ravi Maddipatti, MD - Research Associate
David Balli, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Neha Bhagwat, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Yi-Ju Chen, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Allyson J. Merrell, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Taiji Yamazoe, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow
Nicole Aiello - Graduate Student
Jinyang Li - Graduate Student
Bobby Norgard - Graduate Student
Ben Kahn - Undergraduate Student
Hannah Park - Undergraduate Student
Amine Sahmoud - Undergraduate Student

Administrative Assistant:
Laura Murillo

Selected Publications:

Maddipati R, Stanger BZ: Pancreatic Cancer Metastases Harbor Evidence of Polyclonality Cancer Discov 5 (10): 1086-97,2015.

Penzo-Méndez AI, Chen Y1, Li J, Witze ES, Stanger BZ: Spontaneous Cell Competition in Immortalized Mammalian Cell Lines PLoS One 10 (7): e0132437,2015.

Stanger BZ: Cellular homeostasis and repair in the mammalian liver Annu Rev Physiol 77 : 179-200,2015.

Rhim AD, Oberstein PE, Thomas DH, Mirek ET, Palermo CF, Sastra SA, Dekleva EN, Saunders T, Becerra CP, Tattersall IW, Westphalen CB, Kitajewski J, Fernandez-Berrena MG, Fernandez-Zapico ME, Iacobuzzio-Donahue C, Olive KP*, Stanger BZ*: Stromal elements act to restrain, rather than support, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma Cancer Cell 25 (6): 735-747,2014.

Yanger K, Knigin D, Zong Y, Maggs L, Gu G, Akiyama H, Pikarsky E, Stanger BZ: Adult hepatocytes are generated by self-duplication rather than stem-cell differentiation Cell Stem Cell 15 (3): 340-9,2014.

Chen Y-J, Finkbeiner SR, Weinblatt D, Emmett MJ, Tameire F, Yousefi M, Yang C, Maehr R, Zhou Q, Shemer R, Dor Y, Li C, Spence JR, Stanger BZ: De novo formation of insulin-producing “neo-ß-cell islets” from intestinal crypts Cell Reports 6 (6): 1046–58,2014.

Gao T, Zhou D, Yang C, Singh T, Penzo-Mendez A, Maddipati R, Tzatsos A, Bardeesy N, Avruch J, Stanger BZ: Hippo Signaling Regulates Differentiation and Maintenance in the Exocrine Pancreas Gastroenterology 144 (7): 1543-1553,2013.

View all publications

Academic Contact Info

Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute
Division of Gastroenterology
Department of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
512 Biomedical Research Bldg II/III (Office)
527 Biomedical Research Bldg II/III (Lab)
421 Curie Boulevard

Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 746-5560
Fax: (215) 573-2486
Patient appointments: 800-789-PENN (7366)

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